Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snelling Road Race: Who said the wind was our friend?

Looking Back

After my first race in 2005, I felt a vague sense of disappointment.
I remember thinking during the race, "When are we going to start really racing?" This was after riding in local men's race training rides getting hung out to dry, suffering, and sometimes doing pretty well. I didn't have any idea about what I was getting into and had no model "racer chick". I wondered if I fit the bill? I could get top tens and some primes the first year, but the skills and confidence needed some help. I rode long long miles at tempo. I had a strange mixture of insecurity and disbelief. Yet, I knew what I was going after-- I saw great riders and understood the kind of power, skill and guts that it takes to succeed.

Last season the major limiters were off and it felt easier.
I was frustrated with some races--Too short, too slow, too boring. My training rides were far more challenging. It seemed backwards. I take responsibility for not making them more interesting-- although I was able to get in a few breaks and pull off some fun attacks. I got better at patiently waiting to get those points at the sprint.

My First Cat 3 Women's Road Race

I was calm at the start for a change.
I felt like a member of the community.
The vibe was friendly and competitive.
Observation: Fast women come in all shapes and sizes.
Obstacles were pointed out in a nonchalant way.
No body freaked out or squealed even when girls bumped.
No one announced "braking" before we turned
and the front accelerated hard out of the corners.
Everyone rode in their drops at the right time.
I saw an incredibly gutsy move into the blistering headwind
that blew apart the field (she stayed away solo and won).
Groups formed and rotated and echeloned after.
My teammates are the best.
It was really hard.
This is what I signed up for.
Maybe I just like getting my ass kicked.
Home at last.

Dino and the Start of the Cat 3 Race

Sherri at the start of the Women's 4 Race (200 women racing total for the day)!

Tour of California- Stage Two Finish

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I rode an easy two hours in the morning at endurance pace (three hours hard tempo the day before) watching Dino blazing by doing pain cave intervals. Took a nice long bath, snagged a the burrito racer cruiser from the shop and did a quick tour of the expo around the finish line at the capital. Before the racers arrived, I settled into a spot at 58 Degrees, a local wine bar on the route reserved for friends of City Bicycle Works. It's nice to have connections. I got to catch up with Judy about her ski racing and snuggle with my sweetie. All of the masters racers said "YES!" when they heard that Cipo had claimed 3rd place. There were so many spectators. It's bodes well for the future of our sport.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Norlund Construction, Inc. Corporate Criterium (Say that three times fast)

Flibbity Floooooo....
Luckily, I kept the rubber side down despite gravel trucks parked on the course. It was a violent swirling of STRONG cat 3/4 women with 90 degree corners. Man, it was time to get my crit grove back on after the crash at Timpani last year. It was bunchie bunchie the whole time. I never got into a rythmn.

I moved up, got shuffled back, moved up, sprinted after the soon-to-be-upgraded at the bell, moved up, got shuffled back. Want to steal a wheel, sure go ahead! Want to sneak by me on the inside before a corner, sure go ahead! Argh! April, my teammate, reminds me of myself last year-- strong, works hard, go get it attitude. She was great at keeping the pace up front.

I was very proud of my sprint at the end. I flew around a lot of people and pulled off my highest watts of the season. I had some real fear that needed to be squelched by the Crit Boss Attitude that I felt last year. I have the power and the skills. Everything is coming together... All the ingredients are there and developing nicely (equipment, training, support, skills, mental ability).

I have to admit that I was dissapointed by my results (probably 12th out of 25?). I got a little spoiled last after beating up on the Cat 4 fields... Chalk it up to experience and move on. This year I am going to learn a lot.

Off to the Snelling Road Race next weekend.

New Shoes!

Okay, so I love a new pair of shoes as much as any other woman, but these are the most expensive pair I've ever had (cycling or not). I think they look fast. Plus, they fit like a glove and have super stiff carbon soles. They look great with the Velo Bella Kit. It helps me feel more psyched about the race season ahead.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Track time...

Off to San Jose tomorrow for a points race! I'm excited since it's been a while. I am curious about how I am going to feel after my new improved winter training. 100% of proceeds go towards helping the Proman Track Team get to all 4 of the UCI World Cup Track races. Free food and beer (microbrew):

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Old haiku written many moons ago...

Pop - hiss - thump - thump - thump
Broken bottle stops our group
quick fix ride goes on

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Trainer Haiku #1

Sweat splatters pergo
Loud whirring sound hums along
How many minutes?